World without Me
Sometimes I try to imagine the world without me but I've got to be honest: I can't do it! Even when I think of the world without me, I'm the one that's doing the thinking! So when I try to see things through someone else's eyes, I must admit that the only eyes I actually see through are my own. I look through someone else's eyes, but first through my own. I use my eyes to look through my wife's eyes, which means I never actually can see things the way she sees them. Still, I can somewhat imagine the world before I was born, and I somehow can contemplate the world many years after I have died, but I falter at imaging it tomorrow, or even next week, without me. I feel like I'm too wrapped up in the things that are going on for the world to work very well without me. Who would mow our yard? My wife isn't up on our tax planning. Could she find the receipts? Or my will? Who would preach at church? I'm sure they could replace me for a week or two, but who would be there next year? How would I not have a say in that?!?!
My grandchildren are too young to remember me. Wouldn't that be a tragedy? Only one of my children is married. Wouldn't that cast too dark a shadow on the other weddings? I know things would be fine in 10 years, but what about 10 days?
From time to time I hear an atheist espouse that life after death isn't even desirable. One used this illustration: Think about 1850. Were you here? Was that a tragedy? Then why would it be a tragedy if you weren't here in 2150?
My response is that reaching that far back and forward makes it easier to imagine the world without us. I think instead about the world tomorrow without me, and it makes me sad. It makes me feel a sense of loss. Not having eternal life may not bother me theoretically, but not having life tomorrow bothers me immensely.
All the tomorrows somehow “add up” to eternity, and in that enormity, become theoretical. One tomorrow, or one week of tomorrows, is how we live. We live this day, and then the next, and I don't want to imagine either of those days without me in them. Thanks to Jesus, I don't have to.
Grace and Shalom (and life for tomorrow).